Cleaning the Tandoor Soot from the walls

I often get asked  how do I clean the tandoor soot off the side walls of the Tandoor, and does it affect the cooking. First I have to say that I never cook on the sooty walls. If I want to cook a naan I always wipe the walls first with a damp cloth. This has too advantages, one it gets the bulk of the soot off, and secondly it cools down the side walls. This oven can get very hot, and there is nothing worse than a burnt naan. To give you an idea of what the walls look like after a wipe from the damp cloth, see the before and after pictures below:

Personally this is sufficient for me and has no adverse effect on the naan. If you are not happy with this, you can do it real scrub, or even you sandpaper, but use a damp cloth to remove the dust afterwards.

If you have been following me you will know that I currently do a lot of cooking of fish in the Tandoor. So your next question is does the smoke from the fish effect other things you cook. The simple answer to that is NO, and it definitely does not affect cooking naan or even loaves of bread in the often. I should say no one else has complained of smelling or tasting fish when I have used the Tandoor.

One last question, “Why so much soot on the side walls”. I think this is down to me always keeping the lid on before I cook. There is only a small hole in the top for smoke to escape, and hence the soot on the sides. I keep the lid on to help the oven heat up, but I think for the next six months I will leave the lid off. It will be interesting to see if this reduces the soot.


Well I nolonger leave the lid on, and the soot has dramatically gone down. Also the oven heats up a lot quicker.

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